Northern Ireland news

Westminster bid to introduce same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland is withdrawn

Lord Hayward and Lord Collins had tabled an amendment to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Bill to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland which was debated yesterday. Picture by Press Association

THE latest bid at Westminster to extend same-sex marriage legislation to Northern Ireland has ended after Conservative peer Lord Hayward withdrew his amendment.

Along with Labour peer, Lord Collins of Highbury, Lord Hayward had tabled an amendment to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Bill which sought to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland.

The bill was debated in the House of Lords yesterday.

However, the legislation ran out of parliamentary time.

"The growing momentum for marriage equality legislation at Westminster is now clear for all to see," Lord Hayward said.

"We made a tactical withdrawal today, but we will be back, this time to win."

Baroness Williams of Trafford, representing the government, said it wanted Stormont to deliver marriage equality as a matter of priority.

However, the Northern Ireland assembly has now been in suspension for more than two years.

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International expressed disappointment.

"The minister's call today for Stormont to deliver equal marriage rings very hollow, when we all know that the assembly chamber has lain empty for more than two years, with no return of devolution in sight."

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